W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > October 2002

Re: target and frames nonsense (Was: Re: Comments on HLink)

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2002 23:54:21 +0200
Message-ID: <0e1c01c268cb$f28ef4a0$7ef5a8c0@srx41p>
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Cc: "David Woolley" <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>

From: "William F Hammond" <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
> <grumble class="curmudgeon">
> I've always seen target, frames, and friends (going back to blink) as
> juvenile.
> </grumble>

Well the functionality of composing documents together to create an
application is clearly a valuable one: email with a frame for the folders, a
frame for the current folder, and a frame for the current window. Or search
applications with one frame for search results, and one for the content of
the current search result. Or an overview frame, and a content frame, like
Acrobat. The problem with HTML Frames is that the inital design was faulty.
The concept nevertheless has proven to be a valuable one. Which is why we
are trying to improve it.

> Aren't XHTML elements and their attributes (possibly apart from the
> "class" attribute that characterizes different presentation modes
> abstractly) supposed to reflect _content_ rather than _presentation_ ?

Yes, which is why we have taken frames out of HTML.

> <grumble class="parenthetical">
> And you guys want to trash <br> and <hr> which do, in fact, represent
> loosely structured content.
> </grumble>

We don't want to trash <br> functionality, just the way you represent it (to
make the structure more explicit).

As for <hr>, we still haven't reached consensus. I believe strongly that the
<hr> functionality (of a separator) has shown its worth, but that the name
is misleading.

> IMHO if XHTML is to be taken seriously by content providers, then the
> opening of new windows should happen in user agents only upon the
> user's employment of an alternate form of link selection (such as
> "shift-click").

Well, pop-up windows are also valuable in the wider world. The problem with
the web is that they have been used principally for adverts. I recognise
that there is a WAI issue with pop-ups, but the UAAG deals with that surely?
Did you give this feedback to XLink by the way? After all, all we are doing
is using their semantics.

> New window surprises annoy users.  A content provider whose sponsor
> thinks they are cool, has for a client a dotcom that is losing
> customers.

I agree that much usage of new windows is badly designed. Is that also a
reason to ban the functionality?

Check out http://webaccess.mozquito.com/deng/deng.xml (only IE at the
moment), the first (pilot) implementation of XFrames; the example shows 4
frames. Would you want to deny them the possibility of generating new

> At the cocktail parties I attend, when ordinary people find out that I
> know something about HTML, I tend to be bombarded with questions about
> how to turn off various forms of unwanted new windows.  It's something
> like a tax that I have to pay these days.

This is clearly a UA issue, don't you think?

> P.S.  Rolling out new and better names is a good thing.


> Deprecating
> names from old W3C recommendations absent a compelling reason is not
> unless the goal is to ensure the longevity of HTML 4.

Maybe the reasons are compelling, but not clear enough, or compelling to
some but not to others? (I assume you are referring to <br> and <hr> here).
But you may also be making the mistake of seeing XHTML 2 as a finished
product, rather than an intermediate stage.

> Gratuitous
> backward compatibility problems always soil reputations.

Got an example of gratuitous backwards compatibility in XHTML?

Best wishes,

Received on Tuesday, 1 October 2002 04:50:39 UTC

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